German manufacturers Volkswagen and BMW joined forces with the California-based ChargePoint Inc. to expand the electric-vehicle infrastructure throughout the U.S., and this blitzkrieg has borne fruit in the form of two new major EV charging networks within two of the most heavily traveled corridors on the East and West coast.
The Express Charging Corridors Initiative announced on the 13th of September, 2016, the addition of 95 new public charging stations meant to support EV travel from Portland, Oregon to San Diego, California, out West and from Boston, Massachusetts, to Washington, D.C., down East. These are DC, fast-charge stations set at 50-mile increments along the main highway with additional stations on the branches that feed traffic to the local places-to-be-and-see, so suddenly EV touring is a thing.
Continue reading for more information on the new charging stations.
Ahead of this weekend’s Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Price race at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a pair of Hondas went head to head in a one-lap race, displaying two different types of open-wheel racing. MotoGP rider Dani Pedrosa and his Repsol Honda took on Marco Andretti in his Honda-powered Indy car, and the good news is that no IndyCars were flipped in the making of this video.
In the orange corner, wearing two wheels and weighing in at just about 350 pounds, Pedrosa’s Honda RC213V is powered by a 1,000 cc V-4 rated at 240 horsepower. In the yellow-and-blue corner, wearing four wheels and weighing in at less than 1,600 pounds, Andretti’s IndyCar uses a turbocharged Honda 2.2-liter V-6 pumping out close to 700 horsepower.
The “race” was obviously staged purely for show, but Andretti sells it well by sliding his car through the S-curves of Indy’s rain-soaked road course. It would have been nice to see both vehicles really go all out to see which is faster around the 2.6-mile, 16-turn course, though.
Still, it is still incredibly entertaining to watch the juxtaposition of the two totally different race vehicles on the track at the same time. Being a promo for the MotoGP event, the result is no surprise, but you’ll have to watch it to find out for yourself.
If you love cars, you are pretty well catered-for in the world of video games. With long-standing franchises like Need for Speed, Forza Motorsports, Grid, and Gran Turismo, and more coming every year, it is very easy to get your four-wheeled fix in a digital space. If you prefer the two-wheeled world of motorcycles though, you are left a little wanting. There are some great games out there, like the Moto GP series and Trials HD, but the pickings are much more slim. Well, gaming developer Milestone is looking to bolster the market a bit with the new game MXGP. MXGP is the officially licensed game for Motocross, and as such it features tracks and riders from the current championship series.
That means you get 60 riders, 60 bikes, and 14 different tracks.
What makes MXGP interesting is a focus on the special characteristics that make Motocross interesting and exciting. While car sims focus on tire physics, MXGP has a dirt physics system that sees the tracks get molded, altered and formed by the bikes, just as you would see in a real race. Couple this with a fun and advanced control scheme that takes driver balance into consideration, and you end up with a game that doesn’t really feel or play like anything else on the market.
Being different is not enough to make a game great though. I spent a few weeks digging through the various racing series, modes and features that MXGP has on offer to decide if its worth a buy, or if it’s little more than some fancy features wrapped around a boring game.
Read on to learn more about MXGP: The Official Motocross Video Game
If you are a gamer and a car fan, there are literally dozens of games out there for your enjoyment. Just this year alone we have already tested Forza Motorsports 5, Forza Horizon 2, F1 2014, Grid Autosport, and The Crew. If you enjoy your motorized fun when it happens on two wheels, games that follow your passion are much more scarce. When I was offered the chance to review the latest installment of the Moto GP racing game, I couldn’t turn it down.
In reality, Moto GP is one of the most exciting forms of motorsport. Apart from potentially rally racing, I don’t think any other professional motorsport focuses on driver skill for success. The racing is fast, dangerous and incredibly technical. This will be my first experience with any motorcycle racing sim, and I am excited to see if MotoGP 14 can channel the excitement and suspense of bike racing in the same way that games like Forza channel the thrill of driving a car.
What I found was a game with some great features and few nagging issues, but did the good outweigh the bad? Read on to find out.
Read on to learn more about MotoGP 14
The line between cars and motorcycles is getting thinner every day. Morgan’s Three Wheeler is open topped and uses the majority of bike’s powertrain for proulsion. Track day toys like the Ariel Atom promise the same type of acceleration as superbikes, and KTM, a motorcycle company, even builds a competitor to the Atom called the X-Bow. On the motorcycle side Can-Am has the Spyder, which is essentially a reversed trike. For 2015 we can add one more name to the list of motorcycle-car `tweeners: the Polaris Slingshot. The Slingshot features a design similar to the X-Bow, complete with a side-by-side seating arrangement, but it brings in the three-wheel layout of the Can-Am and Morgan.
Propulsion comes from a 2.4-liter, Ecotec four-cylinder sourced from General Motors that sends 173 ponies to the pavement. Yes, it’s time to yell "at least!" The Morgan 3-Wheeler is finally getting a competitor that can be acquired on U.S. soil without having to worry about import taxes and other headache-inducing duties.
Update 7/28/2014: Polaris has officially unveiled the long-awaited Slingshot. Read more after the jump
Click past the jump to read a little more on the Polaris Slingshot.
Tragedy has befallen the 2014 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb as we lose one of our two-wheeled compatriots. Bobby Goodin, a 54 year old biker from Texas was competing in his second Pikes Peak event when he lost control of his bike shortly after finishing his run yesterday afternoon. The top of Pikes Peak has a large gravel lot, and the Triumph Daytona 675R appeared to be carrying a bit too much speed to make the required stop.
The resulting crash saw Goodin land on an outcropping of rocks after becoming airborne. On site paramedics administered CPR and Goodin was evacuated to the nearby Penrose Main Hospital by Flight for Life. Sadly, Goodin succumbed to his injuries and passed.
This is a most tragic end for a veteran biker. Goodin was able to claim an impressive third place in the 1205 Pro Class last year; his first ever appearance in the event.
The Pikes Peak Hill Climb has claimed a few lives over the years, but Goodin is the first biker to lose his life to the mountain since 1982 when Bill Gross perished.
The thoughts and well wishes of everyone at TopSpeed go out to the family and friends of Goodin.
Click past the jump to read more about the Pikes Peak.
US - Stage 1 - Car/Bike - Stage Summary... by Dakar
The 35th running of the Dakar Rally began its official start yesterday in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina and ending in Valparaíso, Chile, some 800 miles over some of the roughest, most unforgiving landscape traversed in modern motorsports. Sunday’s race is only the beginning, representing the first, yet longest stage in a 13-stage race. The total distance traveled will be over 2,600 miles over 14 days through three countries in central South America.
Racing each stage are four classes of vehicles: bikes, quads, cars, and trucks. Each is highly modified and capable of handling the extreme terrain. The cars, for example, look something like a cross between a Baja 1000 truck and a Rally America racer with massive shock absorbers, knobby tires, all-wheel drive and a fearless driver. The truck, or Lorrie class, includes cab-over-engine trucks weighing over 7,716 pounds and look something like a Mercedes Unimog.
Continuing today through January 18th, the Dakar will snake its way through Argentina up to Bolivia, then turning south again for Chili. Separate routes are mapped out — one for the motorcycles and quads, the other for the cars and trucks — keeping the race circuit more suited for the vehicle types.
A live feed is available on the official Dakar website, along with more photos and videos of the action. The results for each day’s finishers are posted there as well.
Click past the jump for more videos of the Dakar Rally
Unlike the One Lap of America race, which recently ended, the Houston Half Mile Shootout is a brand new race for 2012. This year it was run in conjunction with the 4th annual Aeros & Autos event at Ellington Airport in Houston, TX.
This race is much like the Texas Mile, as it is purely a top speed-style of race, where your goal is to reach the highest speed within the half-mile-long track. Simple enough, right? Well, driving in excess of 200 mph is never simple, but rules sure are.
This inaugural run includes cars and motorcycles, both street legal and off-road only, which makes for some really intense speeds, but also some utter disappointment. The biggest disappointment that we see is Mario Williams, an NFL Linebacker, running his Aventador down the half-mile track and only hitting 167 mph in the above video. C’mon, man, open her up a little. That’s just getting that $400,000 supercar warmed up.
On top of that, event organizer John Hennessey shows that he is not a football guy, as he calls Mario Williams an “All Pro defensive player from the Houston Texans,” but Williams signed with the Buffalo Bills in March, oops. We have to give Hennessey a pass though, as the video was taken on March 5th and Williams was still a free agent at the time, but he certainly was not a Texan at the time.
Fortunately that was just a warm-up lap, as we saw much more speed as the event went on.
Click past the jump to read more about the event, cool cars and highlights.
It’s rather obvious that we love cars, duh… But do you know what we love more than normal old everyday cars? We love custom monsters that make us go “what the?” What we love even more than that are factory-produced models that give us those same feelings, like the Morgan 3 Wheeler company.
Morgan manufactures three different 3-wheel cars – Standard, Bespoke, and Superdry Edition – and each one is cooler than the one before it. The standard Morgan 3 Wheeler is pretty slick on its own, featuring a 1,990 cc V-twin engine that propels this three-wheeled contraption to 60 mph in about 4.5 seconds and to a top speed of 115 mph.
It’s sweet enough to just talk about these beasts, but it’s even more fun to watch them in action. We don’t mean a leisurely Sunday cruise with grandma and the kids. Nope, we mean screaming this bad boy through Goodwood hill, breaking the ice land speed record, and doing a massive burnout. Okay, the first video is, in fact, a more leisurely Sunday drive, but it has some awesome V-twin audio and some really nice shots of the car to compensate for the lacking adrenaline.
Regardless of the video type, any car/motorcycle buff will not only love these videos, but will likely need a tissue to wipe the drool from his or her computer screen. What’s best about these awesome machines is that they are actually fairly affordable, as the Standard model bases out at just £25,000 ($40,345) plus VAT.
So crank up those computer speakers and enjoy the sights and sounds.
Click past the jump for three additional videos.
Okay, I have worked in many repair shops in my day. During my tour as a service manager, I came across a fair share of “Mountain Man Mechanics,” which is the politically correct thing to call them. These guys love taking the strangest vehicles and creating monsters out of them.
There was one mechanic that took a 1980s Honda Civic hatchback and dropped a 1300 cc Hayabusa engine in it, thinking it would increase the Civic’s performance. He didn’t quite grasp the logic of torque-to-weight ratio and ended up with only a really cool sounding Civic.
Another monster that sticks out in my mind is when a mechanic tore apart his unwilling wife’s mid-1990s Mitsubishi Mirage and dropped its body on a self-shortened S-10 frame. He then dropped a 307 cubic-inch Oldsmobile engine in it and connected the Olds engine to the transmission and transfer case on the S-10 frame. It actually looked and sounded mean when he was done, but instead of re-welding the frame together, he used several bolts to secure it. Guess what happened...
What’s my point here? Well, a new monster has recently come to our attention, which is for sale on Craigslist. The owner has dubbed this machine a 2007 Willys Trike. This trike has a stretched Jeep CJ-2 body with a motorcycle wheel on the front. The body sits on a custom frame – hopefully it’s welded – and has the rear independent suspension from a T-bird.
Instead of having the old Jeep CJ-2 engine, this beast has a Chevy 4.3-liter Vortec engine, which is good for around 190 horsepower, if it is stock. Plus it has a four-speed transmission connecting the engine to the rear wheels.
The handle bars for the motorcycle wheel span all the way from the front of the vehicle through two slots under the windshield. We bet this thing is a scary animal to maneuver at high speeds. But anyways, this “Mountain Man” monster can be yours for “just” $11,000. We bet this thing sits on the market for a while.
General Motors has announced that it will build a cheap city car for EUR 8,000 using motorcycle parts. This measure will keeps costs down and also make it easier for the manufacturer to put the car together in the assembly stage. Tata Motors were also at some point of time, thinking along those lines during the Nano’s development stage, but the plan was subsequently dropped.
Opel is presently in the "discussion and examination phase" of the project and it will be long before the rear-engined, entry-level car rolls out of their factory. Opel will outsource the parts from either a scooter or motorcycle manufacturer and is also looking at Asian suppliers to help them out. The car is expected to carry a drive train similar to a motorcycles’ and will be ready within a few years time.
As part of research activities on future regulation systems, a motorcycle test vehicle has been created under the umbrella of BMW Group research and technology. This vehicle has a very high engine output and lightweight construction technology and is designed to test highly dynamic processes in engine and driving dynamics management under extreme conditions.
BMW Head of Development Prof. Burkhard Göschel said that the choice of a motorcycle to study fundamental technological developments (...)
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his son, Patrick, received minor injuries Sunday afternoon in a motorcycle accident near their Brentwood home, the governor’s press secretary said in a written statement.
The low-speed collision occurred about 3:15 p.m. as Schwarzenegger was riding his Harley-Davidson with his son, Patrick, in the motorcycle’s sidecar, according to Margita Thompson, the governor’s press secretary.
As the pair were riding north on Mandeville Canyon Road, a car backed (...)